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DIY Bandana Headband with Elastic for Girls or Guys

Here’s to a mom-and-daughter cycle outing wearing bandana headbands. This DIY bandana headband with elastic is so cute and just perfect for summer days when riding a bike or taking a walk. Use the stretchy bandana headband anytime you want to keep long hair from blowing into the face or when you want to add a bit of style to an outfit. You can make them for ladies too. They can also be made to accompany dresses for underprivileged children in Africa and Asia. Because they take up a small amount of fabric, you can probably use the offcuts from the dresses. These lovely DIY bandanna headbands with elastic take around 10 minutes to make when you follow our easy step-by-step tutorial.

diy bandana headband with sunglasses

These little bandana headbands can be made in around 10 minutes – you’ll probably get it down to less if you bulk cut and sew. The bandana headbands with elastic use small pieces of fabric from your stash. They can be made in various pretty patterns and colors – a perfect accompaniment to summer days spent bike riding, fishing, and playing when girls don’t want their long hair whipping back into their face. The visuals make it easy to follow the instructions, and in no time, you’ll be making these in a flash.

bandanna headband diy - view from behind

Below you will find my step by step How to make a bandana headband written tutorial with VIDEO instructions for all the visual learners.

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How to make a bandana headband

how to make bandana headband out of fabric

DIY bandana headband Supplies and tools

bandana headband pattern template and supplies

DOWNLOAD: bandana headband pattern (FREE template)

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How to Sew a bandanna headband

Watch the diy bandanna headband with elastic video first and then follow the written step by step instructions below.
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DIY bandana headband VIDEO TUTORIAL


Measuring the bandana headband length

To determine the length of fabric needed for the main piece of the bandana headband, use a tape measure to determine the head circumference (that’s the distance from behind the ear, over the top of the head, to behind other ear) and substract 4″ (10cm).

The width will vary from perhaps 8 to 10 inches (20 to 26 cm) for kids. You can even make these for an adult – the adult length will be around 11 to 12 inches (28 to 31 cm). Refer to the free template above for all sizes


Fabric needed:

diy bandana headband fabrics

Bandana main piece fabric measurements:

  • Length = Head circumference – 4″ (10cm)
  • Width (kids) 8-10 inches (20 to 26 cm)
  • Width (adults) – 12″ (31cm)

Fabric for the Elastic casing: 1 piece 8 x 3 inches (20 x 7 cm) 

Elastic: 1 piece 1 x 4.5 inches (2.5 cm x 11.5cm)



Take the smaller piece of fabric for the elastic casing and fold it in half along the length with the right sides facing each other, so you have a piece 8 x 1.5 inches (20 cm x 3.5cm). Line up the edges and pin them in place. Stitch along the length just under 1/4 inch (6mm) from the edge back, tacking at the start and finish.

bandana headband casing


Turn the elastic casing the right way out and flatten along the seamed edge. Thread the piece of elastic through, making sure it lies flat within the casing. Clip the elastic in place at the edge of the casing on each end.

turning around the casing of the bandana headband


Stitch the elastic to the casing, backstitching along the short end to make sure it is held firmly. Then stitch another row. This is to avoid the elastic pulling loose when under tension. The stitching will be ¼ inch (6 mm) from the edge.

sew the casing of the bandanna headband

Step 4:

Take the main bandana piece, and turn over a seam of ¼ inch (6 mm, then again ¼ inch (6mm) on the long side. Stitch it down, back tacking at the start and finish. Repeat with the other long side. Set aside.


sew the main piece of the bandanna headband

Step 5

Lay the main bandana headband piece right-side-up on the worktop, then place the elastic piece on the left-hand side 1 inches (2.5 cm) from the top.

attaching elastic to main bandana headband

Fold down the bandana piece 1 inches (2.5 cm) to cover the elastic. Next, fold the edge of the bandana piece upwards from the bottom to cover the first fold. There will be a lot of excess fabric. Lift the material, hold the elastic and bandana carefully to avoid losing the position, and make several pleats over the elastic, so there is no excess fabric, and clip in place. 

bandana headband pleats over the elastic

Bring the elastic over to the other side and repeat the pleats with the other end of the elastic and the other side of the bandana, then clip in place.

bring elastic over to the other side of the bandanna headband

Make sure you follow the sequence of folds and pleats as you did for the first end; otherwise, there will be a twist in the pleats, which you want to avoid.

Step 6

Stitch the pleated ends 1/4 inch (6mm) from the edge, ensuring all the pleats and the elastic are caught securely. Back tack at start and finish. 

stiching sides of the bandana headband


Suppose you have a serger (overlocker). In that case, you can overlock the ends before turning the bandana headband the right way out. Still, if you don’t, it doesn’t really matter the raw edges will be hidden under that first fold you made. And that’s it – all done.

homemade bandana headband for girls


These are such a fun and useful way to use up small pieces of fabric. If you are making little pillowcase dresses for Africa or charity dresses for underprivileged children, then a bandana headband made from the offcuts or a color that picks up one of the print colors would provide a great addition to the dress. If you are making for family and friends, they are cute to slip in with a birthday gift. If you enjoyed this easy tutorial, then please hit the subscribe button so we can deliver our new projects straight to your inbox. 

sew a bandana headband

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Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 5 comments
Jayne @ Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs - July 3, 2022

These are fab! I love wearing bandanas. Such an easy-to-follow tutorial too. x

Lydia C. Lee - August 15, 2022

Cool. Looks easy enough! #Anythinggoes

Joanne - August 28, 2022

Thank you so much for sharing this simple tutorial with us! Pinned.

Pat - June 5, 2024

So I made the adult size of 12″ long, which was 1″ longer than called for after measuring head circumference. I cannot even get it on my head, your instructions are way off. Have no idea how long to make it now.

    Helen - June 7, 2024

    Pat, as I told you in the video comments – 12″ is the WIDTH of the fabric, not the length. The length would be your head circumference minus 4″.
    For example my head circumference is 23″, so the fabric is 23-4 = 19″ long and 12 inches wide
    Hope that helps


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